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York Centre for Asian Research Update                        Issue 21, Friday, August 26, 2005


NTU professor visits YCAR

Dr. Lan Hung Nora Chiang from the Department of Geography, National Taiwan University (NTU) is in YCAR for three weeks from August 25-September 13. She is in town doing research on the role of Taiwanese women in 'astronaut' families and the '1.5' generation of Taiwanese immigrants in Toronto as well as meeting with Taiwanese organizations.

Dr. Chiang was at YCAR in September 2003 and delivered a lecture on the Dynamics of Self-Employment and Ethnic Business among Chinese in Australia (published in the International Migration Journal in 2004). She has also presented and published several papers on Taiwanese Immigrant Women in Australasia (2004), Community-Based Ecotourism for Hakka Township (2002), and Residential Choice, Mobility and Employment Patterns in Australia (2001), among others. Dr. Chiang received her Ph.D from the University of Hawaii, M.A. from Indiana University, and B.A. from University of Hong Kong.  She was chair of the geography department, director of the Population Studies Center (1991-1997), and president of the Taiwan Population Association. She is at present the coordinator of the Australian Studies Centre.


Japanese film scholar and critic speaks at York on September 8 at the Accolade

Prof. Yomota Inuhiko is coming to Canada this Fall for a series of lectures on Japanese film and arts. He will do a talk on the "Aesthetics of Kawaii" at York University on Thursday, September 8 from 2:30-5:00 pm at the newly constructed Accolade Building (ACW 004) between Vari Hall and Burton Auditorium. The event is co-sponsored by YCAR and the Japan Foundation.

Dr. Yomota teaches film studies and comparative literature in the Department of Art Studies at Meiji  Gakuin University in Japan. He is a prolific scholar and writer, having published over 30 books relating to film, literature, East Asian studies and cultural studies. His most recent publications include Korea My Love (2002), Li Xianglan and East Asia (2001), Japanese Cinema in an Asian Context (2000), and Radical Wills in Contemporary Japanese Cinema (1999) and Rupture in My Eyes (1996). He also regularly contributes to newspapers and magazines, including Asahi, Mainichi and The New York Times. He was a visiting scholar at Columbia University (1987-88) and Bologna University (1994-95), as well as a visiting professor at Konguk University (1979) and Chung'an University (2000), both in Seoul. He received several prestigious prizes, among them the Suntory Scholar Prize (1998) and the Ito Sei Literary Prize (2000).


York invites applications for YCISS Director

The Faculty of Arts, York University invites applications for Director of  the Centre for International and Security Studies, with a cross-appointment at the Associate Professor level in the relevant department or division in the Faculty of Arts (for example, but not limited to: Political Science, History, Sociology, Anthropology, Geography, Social Sciences, Economics, etc.).  Details are at http://webapps.yorku.ca/academichiringviewer/specialposting4.html.

York University is an Affirmative Action Employer. The Affirmative Action Program can be found on York’s website at http://www.yorku.ca/acadjobs/index.htm or a copy can be obtained by calling the affirmative action office at (416) 736-5713.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents will be given priority.

Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, a statement of research and teaching interests, and relevant reprints and arrange to have three letters of reference sent to Joan Broussard, Secretary, Search Committee for the Director, Centre for International and Security Studies, 375 York Lanes, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M3J 1P3, Tel: (416) 736 5156 Fax: (416) 736 5752. Deadline for receipt of applications: November 15, 2005.

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Call for papers on CANCAPS 13th Annual Conference, 2-4 December 2005, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ottawa

The 13th Annual CANCAPS Conference will be held this year in Ottawa. The overall theme of the Conference will be: Asia in Search of Identity and Security.

This year, there will be three plenary sessions:

   * Implementing the Canadian International Policy Statement in Asia
   * The East Asia Community
   * Non Traditional Threats in Asia

There will be one panel sponsored by each of the two working groups. CANCAPS is looking for paper proposals for the remaining seven panels. Some possible topics include:


   * Competition between China and Japan and its impact on Asia
   * Arms Races and Proliferation in Asia
   * India’s Security Policy
   * Implications of the American Empire in Asia: Evaluating Hegemony
   * Political Economy and Demography: Outsourcing and Immigration
     Implications for Canada
   * A Distinctive Canadian Approach to Peace and Conflict in Asia
   * Identity and Diaspora: The Role of Remittances in Time of
     Environmental Crisis
   * Energy Security and the Environment: Sources or Consequences of
     Internal Conflicts?
   * The rise of neo-nationalism in Asia
   * Terrorism and Religious Identity

This list is not exhaustive and does not reflect a priority ranking of the topics. If you have any other proposal that could fit into the security fields covered by CANCAPS (including Afghanistan), please feel free to send it to CANCAPS. The organizers will select paper proposals on the basis of how well they contribute to the overall structure of the panels and, as always, on their merit.

Please send your proposals as e-mail attachments to Gerard Hervouet, President of CANCAPS (gerard.hervouet@pol.ulaval.ca) before 29 August 2005. Please also send copies of your proposals to Shaun Narine, Vice President of CANCAPS (narine@stu.ca) and Sarah Whitaker, CANCAPS Administrator (sarahw@yorku.ca).


SSHRC Strategic Joint Initiative opens competition for Multicultural Program

The York University Office of Research Services (ORS) would like to remind York researchers of the upcoming competition for the SSHRC Multiculturalism Program. This program is a Strategic Joint Initiative of SSHRC and the Multiculturalism Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program supports research that will help to inform the development of policies and programs that can both initiate and evaluate social and institutional changes conducive to building a more inclusive and just society.

A summary of this program is provided below. Complete details may be obtained from ORS (ext. 55055; research@yorku.ca), or from SSHRC's web site: http://www.sshrc.ca/web/apply/program_descriptions/multiculturalism_e.asp

Please note that both the application and cv web forms will be available soon at SSHRC’s web site.

OBJECTIVES:

- facilitate and promote innovative policy-relevant research on multiculturalism issues in contemporary Canadian society;
- generate, disseminate and transfer knowledge that informs the development of policies, programs and practices that will help to foster and promote an inclusive society;
- help Canadian postsecondary and research institutions develop expertise in issues relevant to cultural, ethnic, racial and religious diversity; and,
- promote public dialogue about, and understanding of, multiculturalism and diversity issues.

VALUE & DURATION: Research grants are worth up to $50,000 for a period of 12 months.

DEADLINE: October 17, 2005

York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding, including Letters of Intent, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Services before they are submitted to the granting agency.  For internal approval, the application must be accompanied by a completed ORS Application Checklist, which requires the Chair’s and Dean’s signatures.  To ensure that the approved application is ready by the agency deadline, a complete application folder must be submitted to the ORS ten (10) working days prior to final submission date. Office of Research Services, 214 York Lanes, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3. Tel: (416) 736-5055 Fax: (416) 736-5512.


Uphill climb for Asian museums - Yap Lih Huey, Asia News Network, 2005-08-24

When some of its historical literary were partly wet from a storm, The National Museum of the Philippines uses indigenous technique to return the ancient books to its original form. Using a hot and cold technique from an oven and freezer, Roberto A. Balarbar, an art conservator at the museum was able to dry and separate the wet pages.

“Although there will be some damage, it’s better than nothing. The hot and cold temperatures contract the pages and little by little, the pages are able to be separated,” he said.

Such is a common quandary most Asian museums are facing as limited budget allocation by governments and bureaucratic obscurity hamper proper prevention and conservation efforts and emergency management planning. Man-made problems, though not exclusive to Asian museums, include among others difficulty in finding qualified staff, excessive number of artifacts and no proper documentation of artifacts.  The lack of knowledge by rescue workers at scenes of natural disasters intensifies problems of salvaging artifacts as most artifacts would be in pieces, which to untrained eyes are seen as rubble. Be it human or natural disasters, both factors pose major threats to cultural tangible and intangible heritage.

The recent December 26 tsunami swept away 80 per cent of the 3,600 marine artifacts from Sri Lanka’s Maritime Museum in Galle, which was on the verge of exhibition to showcase the island nation’s maritime heritage shared with European and Arab traders. Located along the ancient silk sea route, Galle is rich grounds for marine archeological exploration. As Asian museums became more aware of the need to have prevention measures against natural disasters, most are starting to take simple and cost-effective steps to protect its priceless artifacts albeit lack of government funding.

“A museum uses padding to protect its objects from breaking, in case of earthquake. Beams can be put up to support the museum’s weak roofs from crashing on artifacts,” said Rohit Jigyasu, an architect from India who specializes in risk assessment for cultural heritage in an interview with Asia News Network recently. He was speaking at the sideline of an emergency management course held in Bangkok for representatives from Asian museums in Cambodia, India, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

“The Asian museums are trying to do their best in view of no national policy for emergency planning and lack of funds. Even then, the Asian museums are trying to do a lot. Contrary to common beliefs, prevention measures can cost less,” he said.

Balarbar, who is one of the participants in the course, said he would take seven months to produce an emergency plan for the National Museum of the Philippines. “In the Philippines, there is no emergency management yet and I suspect most Southeast Asian and South Asian museums do not have such plans,” he said. Once the emergency plans are up and running at the national museum, he said it would be modeled by other museums in the Philippines and would involve all range of parties.


Corporatisation of politics comes full circle - Suthichai Yoon, The Nation, 2005-08-25

Even his staunchest supporters may find it shockingly simplistic and dangerously self-serving. But that, in a nutshell, is in fact the super-CEO’s unmistakable mantra – and genuine conviction. His ultimate formula for the country is as deceptively plain as this: Politics equals economics. Everything else is secondary. In fact, if the crunch comes, nothing else matters.

“Politics, in fact, is very similar to economics,” the super-CEO declared during a recent briefing he gave to a group of senior editors from Matichon Group. He then produced a piece of paper on which he scribbled what arguably were the very fundamental thoughts about his much-heralded “dual-track policy”. On the left column is the economy, on the right, politics. Capitalism equals democracy and if business forms the core of capitalism, government and political parties represent the mainstay of democracy, he explained.

Business, he said, leads to M&As (mergers and acquisitions) while running parallel on the political front are regional groupings. If business prosperity dictates that alliances be formed on the basis of synergy, then the political equivalent would be the signing of free-trade agreements (FTAs). And perhaps, as an afterthought, the premier scrawled: “economy of scale” and “economy of speed” at the end of the economy column. He didn’t write down the equivalent of those two terms in the column on politics. But clearly, had he not been in such a hurry, the business-tycoon-turned-top-politician would have scribbled “politics of scale” and “politics of speed” to complete his formula of his grand plan for the country. In other words, the corporatisation of the country’s politics has come full circle.

Once the notion of running the country like a personal business empire considered too crude and crass for the nation. Now, that concept is being paraded in grand style. The transformation has been executed with impunity. Conspicuously absent in his great road map to national revival is an equally, if not more, critical factor: where does civil society fit in?

It appears that for Thaksin, the concept of economic and political activities based on the creation of a civil society is at best an alien caprice. The pursuit of narrow economic objectives, based on a limited number of macro-economic indicators, to him, seems to be the only worthwhile goal. Politics is there only to serve that purpose. (Remember his famous quote: “Democracy is but a tool, not an end”?)

It should have come as no surprise, therefore, that such basic values of a society as human rights, freedom of expression and the rule of law aren’t necessarily included in his scheme of things. In fact, such social values as integrity and ethics could, to him, represent the kind of nuisances he would rather ignore if they serve as a hindrance to achieve his economic and political ends. That vital “missing link” (right) – the lack of moral authority in the Establishment – in Thaksin’s governance is the cause of the current ruinous state of affairs. The blatant corporatisation of politics has brought about the desensitisation of ethical values, which in turn is seriously undermining the very foundation of a civil society.


York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR). For further information, contact ycar@yorku.ca
Ste. 270 York Lanes, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto ON  M3J 1P3. URL: www.yorku.ca/ycar.